The '''National Air and Space Museum''' of the Smithsonian Institution
, also called the '''NASM''', is a museum in Washington, D.C.
. It holds the largest collection of historic aircraft
in the world. It was established in 1946 as the '''National Air Museum''' and opened its main building on the National Mall
near L'Enfant Plaza
in 1976. In 2014, the museum saw approximately 6.7 million visitors, making it the fifth most visited museum in the world. The museum contains the Apollo 11|Apollo 11 module
, the Mercury-Atlas 6|''Friendship 7''
capsule which was flown by John Glenn
, the Bell X-1
which broke the sound barrier
, and the Wright brothers Wright Flyer|plane
near the entrance.
The National Air and Space Museum is a center for research into the history and science of aviation
, as well as planet
ary science and terrestrial geology